What’s Bothering Me?

Created August 13, 2021

Have you noticed that sometimes when you are feeling down, you don’t even know what’s doing that to you?

Isn’t that interesting? Some part of me knows that something is wrong. But my conscious mind doesn’t know what it is.

That could mean my bad feeling is for a stupid reason, and if I could only realize what it is that is putting me off, maybe the bad mood would evaporate, perhaps even evoking a laugh if the cause was ridiculous enough.

On the other hand, my hunch machine is sometimes quite right, and this could be one of those cases.

I must find out which of these is true, whether the bad feeling is something to ignore, or pay attention to.

Where to begin?

I write down the symptoms. That’s my go-to first diagnostic troubleshooting step when I lack joy.

Low energy

Not looking forward to anything today

That often leads to thoughts and usually then, the moving pen begins to write as if by itself (sometimes via keyboard).

When you discover what the stimulus is that is evoking negativity in you, you can decide what to do about it. That sometimes makes you feel better. The situation is usually something that comes from you in the first place, not from someone you know, and the solution usually involves your having to grow up a bit more to change your own attitudes.

So, this whole process is a good thing. It gets you back into a positive frame of mind, and makes you better too.

Unless you don’t believe you have the power to change. That’s sort of a show stopper.

If you don’t feel the power to change, discovering the reason for your bad mood doesn’t help. It might make you feel even worse.

Clearly, it is not a good thing to assume you have zero power to change.

If you didn’t feel you have the power to change, before reading this, start right now to allow yourself to open your mind to the possibility that you could rise to this occasion. That you do have the power to change. Now more than ever before. That is called The Will. Determination. Resoluteness. Dedicated to keep agreements with your Self. Not a pushover or a weenie.

Whenever you don’t feel on top of your game enjoying life and the moment, stop a second and Check For Joy. If joy is not present, what is bothering you?

Pay special attention to (a) your dreams (b) the way you feel when you wake up in the morning.

You’ll see that a bad dream can discolor the first part of a day. Or take you off your game for the whole day just as likely. Unless you’re on top of it.

If you can see yourself (“metacognition”) you can detect what kind of mood you’re in. Metacognition is the Observer State. My book Mind Magic is a manual to teach yourself the skills involved in metacognition – really seeing yourself. Able to look critically and objectively at your own last thought. A higher state of consciousness which was given the name “metacognition” by eminent developmental psychologist John Flavell. Now that I have discovered his work, I see that he calls “metacognition” what I call the Observer State. Funny that both of our books came out the same year, and that it’s taken me this long to see that other scientists have not altogether missed what I have been writing about for years. Interestingly, so far, I have seen a lot written about metacognition from the standpoint of studying the phenomenon, but other than Mind Magic I’ve not seen any manual teaching one to have the skills to achieve metacognition.

Net-net, I am pleased that science, specifically developmental psychology, has in effect validated my work by recognizing the existence of this better state of cognition.

Hopefully dear reader you are already metacognitive – after all you have been reading stuff for some time 😊 – and may have been metacognitive even before that. Most readers whom I have met, say they read my book in the first place because they were having these Observer State experiences on their own, but at a very slow rate, and they didn’t even know what it was and therefore couldn’t really tell anybody about it.

Once you have steadied on the gift of metacognition, exploit it fully by setting a mental trigger that will go off as soon as possible after detection of a downer. No longer tolerate downers for yourself. You deserve joy in every moment. It isn’t a farfetched impossibility. People who are self-actualized, doing their passion work, having peak experiences every day, are already doing what I say you can do too.

Bad dreams can set you off badly and the obvious imperative is to decode them before you get out of bed or as soon as practical.

Once you know the reason for the dream it will no longer hold any power over you.

I’ve been enjoying my life and my moments this Summer and was not surprised to wake up in a bad mood, because during the bad dreams which caused the mood, I already knew that these dreams were disturbing me and I couldn’t figure out why. Neither in the dream nor after waking out of it.

After some contemplation I realized what had caused the bad dream.

The cause of the bad dream was that I am enjoying my life and my work so much right now, some part of me had found time to worry about somehow losing it.

Attachment is a cause of bad dreams in general. Things you are afraid of losing. Try that as a first possible key when you next wake from a bad dream, which I hope you shall never have to do again.

Best to all,


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